After more than a year's delay, Kenyan authorities have recently started work on the lower Nzoia River irrigation project site. The work, costing a total of 7 billion shillings ($70 million), was awarded to China's hydroelectric engineering and construction company, Sinohydro.
The irrigation project in the lower Nzoia River is finally underway. Work on the project has been launched by William Ruto, Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya. The launch was attended by Simon Chelugui, Cabinet Secretary at the Kenyan Ministry of Water and Sanitation, as well as Synohydro officials.
The Lower Nzoia Irrigation Project also includes the construction of a concrete diversion weir, a 135 m connecting channel and a 2.7 km channel. Kenya’s National Irrigation Authority indicated that this is a preliminary work that is already under way. The total cost of the works will be 7 billion Kenyan shillings (close to $70 million). Funding is provided by Kenya’s central government, with the support of the World Bank.
It is a project that will protect the populations of Siaya and Busia counties from “persistent flooding”, and it will be crucial for local agriculture, especially fruit cultivation. The cultivation of cereals such as rice will be the highlight of this agriculture. Farmers in the Rift Valley will be able to alternate this water-intensive crop with soya beans.